The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Ten Top Schools Make Soya Cut

East Africa girls hockey champions Kerugoya girls and boys volleyball kings Cheptil are among the 10 schools nominated for this year's this year's Safaricom SOYA awards.

Kerugoya will battle it out with regional volleyball champions Malava, football second runners-up Tartar, East Africa basketball Shimba Hills and Obambo netball team in the girls category.

The nominees in the boys category include--St. Anthony hockey team, Kakamega 15s rugby team, Laiser Hill basketball team, Cheptil volleyball team and Mukumu.

Malava girls caught the SOYA panelists eye after clinching both East African and national secondary schools titles for second year running. Kerugoya claimed gold in national games and went ahead to clinch East African Games hockey trophy for fourth time in five years.

Tartar once again defied harsh social, political and economic hardships to emerge the best team in football by winning gold at the national level and finished third in the regional event.

Pokot-based school claim they were locked out of the gold medal bracket due to what they termed as biased officiating at the regional stage in Bujumbura Burundi. Obambo entered the list of nominees for finishing second at national games and fifth in East Africa.

At position five, Obambo were the best placed team from outside Uganda in the discipline that has been dominated by teams from the neighbouring country. The boys' category appears very tight as four of the nominees clinched winners' trophies both at nationals and regional games.

St. Anthony's hockey team, Cheptil volleyball, Kakamega rugby 15s and Laiser Hill basketball were victorious at both stages. Mukumu made the cut for finishing runners-up in boys' volleyball contest on their maiden appearance on the national stage.

They then qualified for East African Games but finished outside medal bracket. The emergence of Mukumu also saw two of their players win Kenya continental slots during Africa Zone Five beach volleyball qualifiers in Uganda mid this year.

While releasing the nominees, SOYA secretary, Simon Chebon explained that various factors would be considered when picking the best teams for season 2012.

Chebon said performance is key perimeter in determining winning teams. He, however, said in case where candidates tie, they will consider other factors like variety of sports a particular school undertakes, consistency in performance, conditions under which a team trains and general discipline of the school.

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